John Wenlock-Smith interviews Malcolm Galloway of Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

John Recently had a Q&A session with Malcolm Galloway of Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate.

JWS: How did the band come about?

MG: At school I learned to play the tuba classically, and taught myself guitar and keyboard. Mark Gatland (bass guitarist) and I played music together at school. I was then distracted for a couple of decades by becoming a doctor, but continued to be passionate about music. After a positive reaction to my involvement in a hospital pantomime, I started playing my own songs at solo acoustic gigs, or with Kathryn Thomas on flute as an acoustic duo. I was also going to jam nights at the Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden, where I met guitarist Ibon Bilbao and drummer Rudy Burrell, both great musicians who helped encourage me to push my music forward. 

Mark came to see me playing a solo acoustic set in a pub and we decided to get back to making music together. Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate evolved from being me on my own or with Kathryn, to a variable combination of myself and Mark with combinations of Ibon, Rudy and/or Kathryn. When Rudy moved out of London and couldn’t regularly play with us any more, Mark and I developed a very close way of working together that allows us to perform live with us pre-recording some parts, and playing guitar/bass/vocals (and sometimes keyboards) live as a duo

JWS: Why have you chosen the self release method of working?

MG: We like having the freedom to make whatever music we want, and to be able to design the whole package ourselves, so that hopefully the artwork and the music come together as a whole. I am extremely conflict averse, so not having to negotiate things with a label is helpful. I’m also not really sure what a label would add for us at the moment.

JWS: You also have a minimalist classical solo career as well, why is this?

MG: I’ve always had a parallel interest in contemporary classical and rock music. I was particularly influenced by the American composer Steve Reich’s music. Some of the music I want to write fits into a song structure, some fits as instrumental bits between the songs on a predominantly rock album. Other music I want to write just wouldn’t fit a HOGIA album. Often my classical pieces are long, and gradually explore evolving patterns generated by the interaction of simple motifs, with less of a melodic focus than the HOGIA songs.

JWS: How do you determine whether something should be for the group or yourself? Is there a criteria you utilise?

MG: I think the two sides of my music are coming closer together. In our new album (‘The Light Of Ancient Mistakes’) there is a track, Goodbye Cassini, which originally started as a classical minimalist piece, but then evolved into a flute-led instrumental. The Anxiety Machine is an instrumental divided into three sections, which also exists as a much longer continuous piece, which as a longer piece could be one of my classical pieces, or as a shorter version as a Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate instrumental. So far, anything I’ve done with vocals has been labelled as Hats Off… . Generally the solo pieces are likely to be longer, more gentle, less likely to have a song-like structure, and to be more classical and/or minimalist.

JWS: Have any of the songs ever crossed over?

MG: Mark, Kathryn and I did play a concert at the National Gallery where we played both some of the less angry-sounding HOGIA songs and my minimalist music and video art. 

Some of my classical/minimalist music has started to use drums, so there is some cross-over there.

JWS: I have listened with great interest to  both your own albums and the band efforts. There has been a great progression in the material, how do you choose where to focus your thoughts on, what inspires you musically these days?

MG: I generally have numerous tracks in the process of being written at any time, and usually some of the minimalist music at the same time as the band material. I like to be able to pause writing in one sound-world, and jump into another contrasting musical space. I can then come back to the first piece refreshed. My main limitations at the moment for writing are physical – I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which causes chronic pain and joint problems. My hands and wrists get swollen, which I find frustrating. For example today, I had music in my head I wanted to write down, but couldn’t do much composing due to my wrist.

JWS: You obviously have a love of science, science fiction and of literature as well, how does this influence the direction you take?

MG: I listen to a lot of audio-books, and often a situation, character or even a phrase just jump out as inspiring a piece of music, whether in terms of a narrative or a musical theme. In the last two HOGIA albums there have been several tracks directly inspired by books. I’ve got a folder on my phone of books that I want to go back to as song inspiration. I’ve enjoyed combining songs inspired by real world historical events and those inspired by related themes in fiction in the same album. I’m currently relistening to a biography of Werner Heisenberg as research for a possible song.

JWS: how do you temper your frustrations politically, do you use that as an impetus into your writing?

MG: I am hugely frustrated at what appears to be a rise in racism, homophobia, and other forms of the dehumanisation of others. Most people, if they met one-to-one would get on well, but there seems to be a drive to get groups of relatively powerless people to hate each other, to deflect attention from those who benefit from division. Sadly, I think we need to be constantly vigilant against the resurgence of hatred. This is a recurrent theme in my songwriting.

JWS: Which do you prefer – live shows or recording and why?

MG: I enjoy both. Live performing is very important for me – it brings me a great deal of joy. How we perform the same piece varies a lot between shows, depending on how we feel and the response of the audience. I really love live performance, with that sense of spontaneous communication. On the other hand, in a recording, we have the time and space to decide exactly how we want everything to sound, and shape it in detail. 

Bonus Question 

JWS: If you were to highlight three tracks to introduce someone to your music which would you choose and why?

MG: Refuge, Walking To Aldebaran and Century Rain

Century Rain

This is one of my favourite tracks from the ‘Nostalgia For Infinity’ Album. I like the structure – it takes musical ideas and develops them in a fairly complex structure, while retaining a recurrent melodic chorus. Kathryn has some great flute parts on that one. When we play it live, it feels like we’ve been on a real journey by the end. I think the later chorus being faster than the earlier choruses helps give it that narrative direction.


This is an instrumental track that follows the true story of my great-grandmother’s escape from the Nazi’s during the Holocaust. Musically it brings together my rock and my classical side.

Walking To Aldebaran

This is probably my favourite track from our new album. It is more metal influenced than most of our music, although it jumps between metal, prog, classical, experimental and musical theatre-style sections. It is also quite playful. I’ve been enjoying playing this live. It was inspired by Adrian Tchaikovsky’s novella of the same name.

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s new album ‘The Light Of Ancient Mistakes’ is out now and available to order from bandcamp here:


Acoustic guitar virtuoso Jon Gomm and acclaimed composer Jo Quail have announced details on the ‘Parallel Worlds Tour’ set to take place across the UK in December this year and into January 2024.

Jon Gomm, the singer-songwriter and acoustic solo performer based in Yorkshire, known for his once-seen-never-forgotten guitar style is one of only three artists to have an Ibanez signature acoustic guitar (alongside Satriani and Steve Vai) and has been voted the world’s best acoustic guitarist by MusicRadar/ Total Guitar/ Guitar World. In 2020 he released his most recent album ‘The Faintest Idea’ on Kscope. Jon comments on Jo, 

“In Jo Quail I’ve found a musician who shares my vision of striving to use one instrument, and a load of technique, to create a sound as big and deep and detailed as possible, to build a world around the listener. Hopefully the two of us on the same show will be a fairly epic experience.” 

Following the release of her latest album ’The Cartographer’ last year on By Norse and European tours with Wardruna, Emma Ruth Rundle and Amenra, virtuoso cellist Jo Quail was invited by Robert Smith of The Cure to perform twice at his Meltdown curation and has been commissioned by the prestigious Roadburn Festival. She has also performed with the likes of Wardruna, Low, Battles, Boris and MONO amongst many other artists. Jo comments on Jon, 

“Virtuosic is one word to describe a performance from Jon, but does not come close to conveying the emotion and intent that threads through every song; awe-inspiring technical brilliance serving the music he creates. As two soloists, Jon and I share some similarities, yet we have strong individual musical identities, and to bring our worlds together for these unique concerts is an immensely exciting prospect.” 

Parallel Worlds UK tour – December 2023 & January 2024 

07/12/23 – Southampton, 1865

08/12/23 – Brighton, The Arch

09/12/23 – Frome, The Tree House

10/12/23 – Gloucester, Guildhall

11/12/23 – Swansea, Sin City

13/12/23 – Bristol, The Gryphon

14/12/23 – Bristol, The Gryphon

15/12/23 – Bristol, The Gryphon

16/12/23 – Worcester, St. Swithun’s

17/12/23 – Manchester, Deaf Institute

26/01/24 – London, Oslo

27/01/24 – Leeds, Old Woollen

Tickets are on sale now:

Order Jon Gomm’s album ‘The Faintest Idea’:

Order Jo Quail’s album ’The Cartographer’: 


North America: 

Review – The Wood Demons – Angels Of Peckham Rye – by John Wenlock-Smith

I first came across this rather interesting and somewhat unusual sounding band very recently when they supported the Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate chaps at their album launch for the splendid ‘Light Of Ancient Mistakes’ in that there London, my first time in “The Smoke” for several years, well March 2021 to be precise. I had not heard anything by The Wood Demons anywhere and, despite seeing their name in various gig promotions, I knew nothing about them,

Well, I saw and enjoyed their brief set, several songs from which appear on this great album. These includ the album’s title track Angels Of Peckham Rye, Arithmomania and All Heaven’s Breaking Loose, to name just three, although they might have also played The Odd Particle, come to think of it.

Their sound is rather different, mixing in styles of progressive rock, psychedelia,  folk and even ambient and classical touches. Their line up consists of Rick Startin (keys, guitar, vocals), John Silver (bass), Simon Carbery (lead vocals, guitar), Ed Kontargyris (drums) and they also have a secret weapon in the lush and enticing violin of Naomi Belshaw. The album is a very satisfying listen but, for me, it’s the elegant violin parts that add the icing to a very tasty cake. In places I was reminded of Caravan as Simon Carbery has a similar vocal style to Pye Hastings and several of the tracks are in a ‘Caravan’ type sound.

Opener Arithmomania certainly made my ears prick up with stylish arpeggio guitar and clever juxtaposition of lyrics and how we can count numbers to show the scope of the world and help us define it but also not just reducing it to a series of measurements. This song reveals a sense of wonder in our world and will hook you in as it is a terrific opening track and one that shows what The Wood Demons are all about. It distils their craft into one decent length track that is blessed with that sublime violin. I’m waxing lyrically as this track has rapidly become one of the best things I’ve heard in ages, believe me when I say that, in a year full of exciting and often excellent music, this one stands out and confirms just how good a track this really is, utterly compelling. The Odd Particle is a busy instrumental that allows John Silver’s classy bass to lead us on a merry saunter whilst Naomi struts her stuff with superb pizzicato playing and plucking and Simon lays down some great guitar tones. It’s a shorter piece, very atmospheric and almost cinematic wide-screen in sound and has the whole band blending together in a glorious melding to create a really worthy piece of music.

This is in turn followed by the equally as memorable Big Game Fishing, which is simply a gorgeous song with a gentle but very sweet acoustic guitar part and earnest yet warm vocals. This is very folk like and almost like a sea shanty in parts although when the mellotron kicks in with its lush sound, you can tell this is actually a rather more intricate track. There are great harmonies in this song too and some great understated and dexterous bass playing on offer from John. Of course Naomi’s lovely violin swoops and soars throughout making it all very splendid indeed. Starstruck is a very fine song too and one that works well, it’s harder sounding with the guitars very much to the fore here, they have a real crunch and bite to them. This song is chock full of chunky, chugging riffs and excellent dynamics and it also has a somewhat discordant guitar break, which works especially well with the sax of Michael Wilkins to make a really great sounding track. This is in part powered by more fine bass work before the song enters a more gentle section with keyboard effects and chiming guitar arpeggios and fingerpicking. It’s all very pastoral and in complete contrast to how the track began, unsurprisingly the momentum gathers pace again and the whole band sound urgent as they return to the harder sound once again. This is very impressive and dynamic and a fabulous track ends on sustained guitar riffs.

Angels Of Peckham Rye is inspired by the story of poet William Blake who, aged 8, saw visions of angels in an oak tree in Peckham Rye. Blake also wrote the classic Jerusalem, as made famous by Emerson, Lake and Palmer on their ‘Brain Salad Surgery’ album and also Tyger Tyger Burning Bright, which was covered by Tangerine Dream for their ‘Tyger’ album in the 1980’s. This track is really rather good too, mixing eastern sounding violin lines into the overall sound to create some epic sounds and a riff not dissimilar to Rainbow’s Gates Of Babylon. It is all very impressive sounding and yet another excellent track. This leads into the album’s final track, All Heaven’s Breaking Loose, which is hinged on busy bass and guitar riffs, above all of which there is a soaring violin. This song is actually very energetic and there is a lot going on, with everyone seemingly doing their own thing but, somehow, it all seems to work and the track impresses greatly. There’s an excellent guitar solo from Simon, whose playing here is very effective and eloquently delivered and it ends the song, and indeed the album, in style.

At the live gig, the band also showcased a couple of new tracks that will, hopefully, appear on their next album but, for now, this will do very nicely. ‘Angels Of Peckham Rye’ is truly a splendid, interesting and engaging listen and one that you will want to return to frequently, I know I will. I do recommend this band and album to you, it’s worth it to hear that great violin!

Released 4th December, 2020.

Order from bandcamp here:

Angels Of Peckham Rye (album) | The Wood Demons (

Interview with John Lodge – by John Wenlock-Smith

Picture by Frank Piercy

JWS: Hello John, it’s John from Progradar here.

JL: Hello John.

JWS: How are you?

JL: I’m fine thanks and you?

JWS: Yes I’m fine as well, let’s talk about your new album (‘Days of Future PassedMy Sojourn’). I’ve heard it and I think it’s great, a bold reimagining off a truly classic album, reworked for the modern times.

JL: Thank you very much, I tried to stay true to the emotion of ‘Days of Future Passed’ but with a twist for 2023. Hopefully people can relate to it, especially the younger fans. Hopefully they will wonder what the original version was like.

JWS: Well, I went back to the original and compared the two versions. I really enjoyed going back and hearing it again but I also liked the new version as well. I especially liked the way your bass was more prominent.

JL: When we made the original, we recorded it with two four-track machines. Now, of course, we have far more technology available to use so we were able to get the sound we’d originally envisaged for it. We were able to give the sound for the bass more room and, indeed, all the instruments were given more space, their own space.

JWS: Well I think it’s worked well, it’s a great idea. You’ve not just taken an album, you’ve not merely replicated it, you’ve reimagined it and made it sound more modern and contemporary.

JL: Well that was what I was hoping for, I’m glad you like it.

JWS: I also like that you have Jon Davison of Yes singing Tuesday Afternoon on the new version, I think he sounds really great.

JL: John is a good guy, a great singer writer and a great guy as well. I know him from 2017 and the Royal Affair tour I did with Yes and Asia where I joined them for an encore of John Lennon’s Imagine. Jon joined me for a version of Ride My See Saw, which Jon has done on several occasions very memorably.

JWS: I also liked that you managed to get Graeme Edge involved with his poetry,

JL: Yes I asked Graeme if he be willing to be involved and he said that he’d love to as he’d never read his own poetry before. So Graeme and I went into the studio in Florida where he recorded his poetry, sadly he passed the next week, so he never got to hear the finished recording. but at least I was with him near the end.

JWS: You were big friends with Ray Thomas as well?

JL: Yes I first met Ray when I was 15 and we’ve worked together ever since. I do a song in his memory in my show, Legend of a Mind, in his honour. He was a remarkable man really, I miss him dreadfully .

JWS: It’s good that you uphold their memory in such a manner.

JL: Well I want keep these songs alive otherwise they will fade away! They don’t get played much, unless it’s in a medley, and they deserve more than that really.

JWS: Well I have both of Ray’s albums, and both of Graeme’s, on my shelf. I was listening to some of your back catalogue recently, including a set on the ‘Timeless Flight’ boxset of the ‘Blue Jays’, live from Lancaster University. You had the Trapeze boys with you on that show.

JL: Yes, Dave Holland, Terry Rowley and Mel Galley, fabulous chaps one and all! I produced their ‘Medusa’ album, they were a great band.

JWS: Listening to your albums, as I have been doing over the past few days, has given me a fresh appreciation for just how ground-breaking you were as a band. The music on those first six albums was beautifully crafted, intelligent and well thought out. I think people simply failed to recognise that beauty.

JL: I’m glad you said that because I feel that way as well. People tend to overlook that, I don’t think the media ever gave us a fair chance really but we were pushing the boundaries of where music was.

JWS: I used to love the sleeve artwork as they told the story as well, with their imagery and artwork supporting the music in a complementary manner.

JL: Well that’s what I’m so glad that vinyl is making a comeback. This new album is being released on vinyl in November, I’ve just had the masters from Germany, and it sounds great.

JWS: I think kids today miss the sheer joy of trawling through crates of vinyl, discovering stuff for themselves.

JL: That’s the issue I have with streaming, they dictate what you hear so, say Lennon’s Imagine, you only get to hear certain songs and omit songs like Jealous Guy.

JWS: Well John, my time has gone so I’d better let you go, but thank you for talking with me about things, I really enjoyed it and appreciate your tim.

JL: Well, thank you as well John, I’ve enjoyed talking with you too.

‘Days of Future Passed – My Sojourn’ was released 22nd September, 2023.

Order the album here:

John Lodge – Days of Future Passed – My Sojourn (

Review – Z Machine – Merging Worlds by John Wenlock-Smith

I came across Z Machine, who hail from South Wales, via Facebook when they reached out for someone to listen to their music and I was very pleased to assist them with this. ‘Merging Worlds’ is a mixture of jazz fusion with some metallic edges and it also mixes in natural sounds to create something rather unique in its own way. The Band have a great sound and the use of Rob Harrison’s sax really works in their favour, as does having a drummer, Lester Greenhalgh, who is steeped in jazz which gives a lightness of touch, the high degree of talent and flair is also excellent. There are also two excellent guitarists in Gareth Piper and Owen Rosser who add significantly to the dense textures with some great licks and fills in the songs.

My initial thoughts were of Mel Collins work with King Crimson as the sound is heavy and dense with lots of room for the sax and flute to shine. Bassist Kristian Rees holds things down very tightly, his rumbling bass being another good fit to these songs. Well I say songs but they are all instrumental tracks, the album has six full tracks and six connecting pieces that act as a bridges between the tracks. This approach works especially effectively for the group and the use of natural and industrial sounds makes this a most interesting project and a very good listen too.

The album begins with Introduction – Amphibiospaien, the sound of birds and elephants, and what sounds like sirens but probably isn’t. This leads into Bonus Eruptus with a heavy riff and strong horns and drumming that powers the track along. There is also good interplay between the guitars and sax to create a most effective wall of sound with some great guitar fills. It’s all very musical and very Crimsonesque in parts and an excellent statement of intent from the band. This leads into the sequence track Interlude – Thunder in Paradise, which features thunder and percussion embellishments in a short piece. Big Old Hen is, again, very sax heavy with interjections by the guitars as the sax of wails most impressively. There are great dynamics at play here and also some great guitar flourishes and squeals that sound really impressive. This track, although short, has a lot going on throughout its seven minutes running time including a great guitar solo from Owen Rosser in which he channels his inner Mahavishnu as Rob Harrison adds supporting sax tones, another winner.

Interlude – Saltwash is next and this has radio chatter, electronica and what sounds like computer game noises before urgent drums lead in Myrtle the Turtle, Rob’s heavy sax playing a complicated syncopated riff, along with guitar fills. Thereafter aa short bass solo from Kristian takes the track into more heavy guitar licks and riffing as, again, the syncopated riff is repeated as drums crash all around the music with the guitarists peppering the riffs with tidy little fills and flourishes to sound really strong. It’s blistering and spirited and a really excellent track. Interlude – Whalespice Subdepth has ocean sounds along with train noises and then whale song and that leads us into Spacewalk with Kristian’s walking bassline accompanied by Robs Sax. There are yet more guitar embellishments courtesy of Gareth and Owen, who are both driving this track forward with drummer Lester Greenhalgh providing solid percussive support and drive. The middle part has a less urgent section where the band lesssen off and let the sax play languidly in places before regathering the tempo and moving forwards once again. I really like the interplay that is present in this track.

Interlude – Coyote Dusk features dogs barking and other night-time noises before Joining the Q opens with more solid bass work from Kristian. This shorter track has another great sax part from and more stylish guitar lines from Gareth and Owen, who follow the Sax melody with chiming arpeggios and harmonics. A short drum break from Lester then takes centre stage, eclipsed by the great fluid and lyrical guitar lines of Owen and Gareth who bring the track to a grand finale. Interlude – Driftscene has guitar tones and synths playing over forest noises before final track Synoceratus opens with a great flute over a quick bassline and guitars that are wailing in a most agreeable manner and tone. This piece burns like a Brand X outtake, it is most agreeable and satisfying to hear this degree of enthusiasm and dynamics being presented here. This is probably my favourite track of the entire album and really impresses, it’s a very good ending to what is a really strong album.

If you like the brassy strains of King Crimson this one might very well be for you. It is brilliant and incredibly interesting jazz  fusion for the modern age, I highly recommend this wonderful album.

Released 30th September, 2023.

Order from bandcamp here:

Merging Worlds | Z Machine (

Review – Hekz – Terra Nova

HeKz is a progressive rock band that stands at the crossroads of heavy metal legends and the luminaries of the prog rock genre.

Their journey began with their debut album, ‘Tabula Rasa’, which laid a strong foundation for their distinctive sound. Building on this, their sophomore effort, ‘Caerus’, saw the band ambitiously fusing the contrasting elements of their musical identity. This effort culminated in their third album, ‘Invicta’, where HeKz masterfully blended their influences to create a more homogenised sound that showcased the best of their past while venturing into new and exciting territory.

HeKz’s fourth album, ‘Terra Nova’, promises to be their most ambitious project yet. The band’s lineup consists of lead singer and bassist Matt Young, guitar virtuoso Mark Bogert (known for his work with Knight Area and Magoria), the enchanting Irina Markevich on violin, the rhythmic powerhouse Moyano el Buffalo (formerly of 5th Avenue Hamburg) on drums, and a special guest appearance by keyboard maestro Adam Holzman (noted for collaborations with Miles Davis and Steven Wilson).

‘Terra Nova’ is a concept piece that weaves a tale of ambition, duality, and the relentless fight to conquer the darkest parts of one’s personality to become the person you were born to be.

So that’s the background out of the way, now let’s see what this new album is actually like…

Well, everything starts off with an almighty bang as album opener, and title track, Terra Nova hoves into view like a wild stallion on the rampage. Adrenaline fuelled musical mayhem with glorious vocal melodies and a riff hewn out of granite, if the rest of the album is anything like this then we are in for an incredible treat! It’s like the best hard rock and metal from the late 70’s and early 80’s blended with some progressive nuances to deliver something jet propelled and gob smacking. Matt’s super-funky bass and Moyano’s thunderous drums are the foundation for Mark’s fluid guitar and the subtle interjections of Irina’s violin are really clever. That focused energy flows straight into the monumental Sabotage which takes on a more glam metal feel with its truncated riffs and drum beat. Adam delivers some stellar Hammond organ-esque keys and Matt’s gloriously bombastic vocal is reminiscent of Justin Hawkins at his best. There’s an inctricate instrumental section in the middle which is pure prog and then Irina’s soaring violin takes us on a completely different tack, if only for a brief second before the afterburners are lit and off we go again with a blazing guitar solo from Mark, bloody hell, can I please catch my breath guys! A passionate guitar opens Horizons before things calm down a little (not much though!) and we are treated to a superb hard rock composition that really reminds me of that era of hair metal and glam rock, think Poison, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and the like, only done with more panache and vivacity! Irina’s violin makes another welcome appearance but this song is just pure rock and roll and will put a huge grin on your face, check out Mark’s ever so 80’s solo and you will know exactly what I mean, it’s all just brilliantly over the top!

Matt’s funky, dirty bass opens the rocking rollercoaster ride that is Mayday, a thunderous thrill ride of perfect progressive metal where Mark’s guitar has that low down and dirt edge to it and Moyano’s drums have gone all primeval. Add in some funky keys from Adam and another shot of Irina’s amazing violin and you get something unique and totally captivating and entertaining. Welcome to the most addictive music you will hear this year, I just can’t get enough! Finally things do calm down with the wondrous haunting ballad So Far Gone, you can tell this is an amazing track as I immediately pressed repeat after the first time I heard it. Adam’s graceful piano combines with Irina’s ethereal violin to deliver music that will touch your soul and Matt gives a subdued but ever so passionate vocal performance, especially on the ever so impressive chorus. Mark enters the fray with an elegant guitar, the drums are perfectly judged so as not to intrude and Adam’s keyboard solo is bewitching, it’s all just magical!

The engrossing ten minutes of The Tower are the first time that we see the progressive being more than the rock on this amazing album. Almost musical theatre in places, especially Matt’s ardent, eloquent vocal, this song is a slow burning masterpiece that pulls you in before unleashing its inner darkness, check out that dark and dirty riff! A mesmerisingly convoluted section follows where everything seems to have gone completely mad, like you’re suffering from musical psychosis. It’s like something from Dream Theater’s heaviest album ‘Train of Thought’ and I bloody love it. Like a dystopian horror story, it ebbs and flows between the darkness and the light and you can barely keep up with the labyrinthine plot, this is music that tells a story, okay, in this case a very disturbing one but it is utterly magnificent, bombastic and completely over the top! A song to calm the nerves after that sinister thrill ride, Lifeline opens with subdued feel engendered by Matt’s vocal before it opens up into something more passionate and dramatic, this song could have come from an early Queen album with Matt’s towering vocals and a soaring guitar solo that Brian May would be very proud of. Add in Irina’s beseeching violin and it’s a very compelling way to close out Disc One of the album.

“Disc One?” I hear you shout! Oh yes, didn’t I say? This album is so long it is actually a double album!

Disc Two opens with Too far Gone and we are back to thunderous hard rock as the amazing intro reminds us. Mark then fires a superb riff at the skies and Irina’s violin adds to the majesty. Matt’s vocal has a more subdued feel at first and Moyano keeps the drums in support. Pre ‘Slippery When Wet’ Bon Jovi is the vibe I’m getting here, before they went all hair metal and, controversial opinion, wrote better songs. Cue the high pitched vocals, flowing guitar solo and dynamic keyboards, the blue touch paper is lit and we are definitely off! Progressive metal for the primeval, I Am The Thrall hits you right in the solar plexus like a two ton heavy thing. A leviathan of the genre with it’s brooding atmosphere where the tension just build and builds, Irina’s violin is used to perfection. Matt’s harder edged vocal and Mark’s monstrous guitar add the drama and the intrigue as this heavier than lead song continues its inexorable progress. You can feel the guitar and the drums as they pummel you into submission and Adam’s ever so slightly evil keyboard solo adds the requisite maniacal grin, it’s ever so joyously wicked like a musical guilty pleasure and I love it!

We now come to the album’s properly epic epic! The Silent Man takes all that was great about early Dream Theater and Haken, adds in a dash of some serious Symphony X style progressive metal and then takes the band’s own inimitable style to create something quite remarkable and iconic. There’s something just right about a twenty-four minute song, especially when it shows the middle finger to mainstream music like this one, strap in and enjoy the ride because you are going to love it. Matt’s marvellously grandiose vocals are a joy to behold and Mark’s guitar is as ostentatious as you’d want on a track of this calibre. You think it can’t get any better than Adam’s meticulous, euphuistic keyboard solo and then Mark comes along and delivers a guitar solo that is utterly rhapsodic, add in Matt and Moyano, who are proving themselves to be a rhythm section to die for, and things are near perfect. Don’t take my word for it, you have got to hear this song as it is as brilliantly overblown and dramatic as they come. The album ends on a high and hopeful note with the gorgeously wistful Terra Nova II. Irina’s violin has been making superb guest appearances throughout the album so far but, finally, she gets to really shine on this beautiful, uplifting and ultimately optimistic piece of music. Imbuing a sense of beatific calm, this elegant track leaves traces of wonder as it passes, Matt’s vocal is tender and poignant and both Adam and Mark deliver their most evocative solos yet. This all combines to deliver the most emotive piece on the whole album and one that leaves you in a much better place than when you started.

“You know who you really are…”

Well, what can I say, I knew that a new Hekz album would be something pretty good but I had no idea it would be this special. With ‘Terra Nova’, Hekz have given us the ultimate involving musical thrill ride and I just don’t want to get off. To tell the truth, it’s the best progressive-metal album I’ve heard in many a year and, if this is the future of the genre, I’m completely sold!

Released 3rd November, 2023.

Pre-order from the band here:

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Review – This Winter Machine – The Clockwork Man

I love a good concept album, one where the creator takes an idea and runs with it, creating something quite remarkable in the process. I think you need to resonate with the concept yourself for it to work and, in This Winter Machine’s fourth album, ‘The Clockwork Man’, I have found a concept that really appeals to me.

In a dystopian future mankind has perfected human cloning. From egg to adult it takes an accelerated 7 months incubation, with the clones then raised and socialised for another 2 years in huge dome covered cities, where the sun is projected onto the roof to give the illusion of outdoors, never seeing the outside world. By the time they leave they’re fully adult in appearance.

They’re bred sterile and have no rights to travel or vote or marry. There are no females. They are ‘born’ simply to take the jobs nobody wants or are condsidered dangerous (footsoldier, factory worker, mining etc). They are given pills (ostensibly to fight infection and keep them healthy but actually the pills are to keep them docile, skinny and unambitious). 

Society has labelled them The Clockwork Men.

Being a huge fan of science fiction literature since I was young, that kind of synopsis really appeals to me so we are already off to a good start. Vocalist and main man behind the band Al Winter was unsure how the band’s first proper concept album would go down with their fanbase but, after quite a few listens, I’m pretty certain they will love it. Al says that while there are eight distinct parts or tracks to the album, it should be consumed in one sitting, like you are watching a film, then you will get the most from this engrossing story. If you were lucky enough to get involved in the pre-order campaign then you also got a fantastic comic book to accompany the music.

The protagonist (unnamed but we refer to him as TCM) has been away from his domed city for 6 months, earning a living as a street sweeper, and has a tiny bedsit above a shop in the outside ‘real’ city. He runs out of pills and rather than getting sick he finds himself becoming curious about the world outside. Restless.

A neon sign on the wall outside of his window illuminates the room while he cant sleep. 

He looks at his bedside clock and its 3am. he decides to go for a walk.”

The opening part of the story is The River, a fast, urgent piece of music that introduces the concept with some rather fine guitar work from John Cook, a man who plays like symbiosis of David Gilmour and Steve Rothery. There’s a fine atmosphere created by Leigh Perkins’ keyboards which swirl around your mind. The dynamic rhythm section of Alan Wilson (drums) and Dave Close (bass) provide the glue that holds everything together and Al Winter’s vocals perfectly deliver the story at hand. I feel instantly involved in the story, the music draws you in and Al’s fine voice does the rest, there’s a section towards the end where Leigh plays a beautiful piano note over Al’s hushed tones that sends a shiver down your spine, it’s just sumptuous and when John’s guitar breaks in, oh my, it’s just brilliant. Just imagine where Marillion might have ended up if Fish had stayed and their sound had matured over the years with him as a lyricist, I’m getting those vibes from this album. Solitude, Silence And Steam opens with a pensive bassline, drums and keyboards with John’s strident guitar enforcing the mood. There’s a mysterious quality to this fine track as the keyboards envelop us in some sort of musical mist. things pick up a bit as Al’s searching vocals being and the guitar takes on a harder edge that brings to mind a touch of Gabriel era Genesis. There is a linear forcefulness to the song, like people marching in line and in time, subservient and under control, before the music takes on a calming tone and feel to it and Al’s vocal softens. The intricate songwriting and stellar musicianship is very impressive to listen to, especially John’s guitar work towards the end of the track that closes it out to perfection.

“After a short time walking in the rain, he begins to wonder how he can continue in a world that has so much but with none of it offered to him or his kind. He see’s a bar for clones thats open. Going inside he’s soon joined at his table by an older looking clone and a regular female. 

The older clone tells him of a movement to gain more acceptance and fairness by force but TCM is more interested in the woman. At the end of the night they kiss and agree to meet again.”

Dave’s funky bass and John’s edgy guitar open Final Goodbye in style, this short, eloquent, piece carries on the story with Al’s vocal taking the protagonist through the next stage. It might only be a linking track but it’s aura of 80’s neo-prog is really rather good. There’s a rather funky guitar riff to open the almost Mission Impossible theme feel of the super cool intro to Change, especially the wonderful keys. The involvement of Andre Saint can be felt throughout the track but the highlight for me is the ever so impressive, and exceedingly catchy, chorus where Al gets to really open up with his vocals. Progressive rock meets funk-metal, it really grooves as it ebbs and flows and is possibly my favourite track on the album so far. A haunting, ethereal piano note takes flight in your mind as Reflections begins, the track then really takes off with a passionate guitar section and the drums and bass join in to give us an enterprising, intricate fast paced instrumental that really flows, imagine some 80’s Rush and you won’t be far away from the mark. Just sit back and let these impressive musicians take you on a marvellous musical journey. A delicately played guitar opens the ballad-esque beauty of Nothing Lasts Forever, a wistful, melancholy song where Al’s plaintive vocal plays a key part in engendering a feel of nostalgia and loss. Mention Neo-prog and you seem to get short shrift nowadays but when at its best, like it is here, it is quite fantastic and This Winter Machine seem to dip in and out of the genre at will and go full blown when Leigh’s brilliant keyboards and John’s fiery guitar take on the story. A really wonderful piece of music that touches your soul.

“A short while later they move into a small house together and at first its great and they’re happy. 

After a few weeks and months he notices she’s being mocked in public for her relationship with him, and she loses her job. He also loses his. Insults are painted on their door in the night. 

For her benefit, he waits til the middle of the night, packs a small bag and leaves her a note on the bedside table and leaves. He goes to join the march for better clone rights with the older guy they met at the bar. 

She wakes in the morning and sees the note he left that has just 3 words – ‘Nothing lasts forever’ and in panic she runs to find him.”

The Light opens with more delicate piano and Al’s hushed vocal awash with some ethereal synth, like water gently flowing down a stream. A refined, short, song that induces a state of calm reflection and contemplation and leaves you relaxed and hopeful for the future.

“She sees him at the front of a march, standing side by side with the clone from the bar, heading towards the government buildings. The clones carrying signs and banners asking for freedom and equality. She calls out to him but he doesn’t hear or see her, and as she does the police descend on the crowd of Clockwork Men and she see’s him vanish under cloud of batons and shields. She screams. His fate unknown.” 

Falling Through A Hole In The Sky,the final part of this enthralling story, begins with a gentle, flowing section where all these impressive musicians set the scene for what is to come. Al’s vocal becomes more passionate and stentorian and rises and falls with the tempo of the music as our Clockwork Man’s journey and fate reach their conclusion. John then hits us hard with a potent riff and the ever influential rhythm section of Alan and Dave ramps up the atmosphere, increasing the tension. Things really reach the heights with the stunning, lengthy guitar solo that closes out the track and this majestic and inspiring piece of work.

‘The Clockwork Man’ is modern, neo-tinged, progressive rock at its finest and most involving, perfectly created and performed by a band who have found their feet after three accomplished releases and have delivered their finest work yet. This Winter Machine now stand at the forefront of modern neo-progressive rock and can be rightly proud of a concept album that can stand the test of time with some of the best that have gone before.

Released 6th October, 2023.

Order from White Knight Records here:

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Review – Unitopia – Seven Chambers

“I often think in music, I live my daydreams in music, I see my life in terms of music.”Albert Einstein.

That quote is really how I see music and why I started this website in the first place, I love music and spend the vast majority of my time listening to it. Progressive rock is one style of music that I really resonate with, to me, when it is done well, it is the modern version of classical music or musical theatre, both genres where the music can be so expressive.

Well, without spoiling the conclusion of this review, this new, much anticipated, album from legendary antipodean progressive band Unitopia definitely falls into the ‘done well’ category…

As the follow-up to 2010’s ‘Artificial’ and 2012’s ‘Covered Mirror Vol. 1 – Smooth as Silk‘ (a superb assortment of classic/prog rock reinterpretations), ‘Seven Chambers‘ is Unitopia’s first new outing in over a decade. Founded by vocalist/songwriter Mark “Truey” Trueack (United Progressive Fraternity) and multi-instrumentalist Sean Timms (Southern Empire,DamanekUPF) in 1996, Australian progressive fusion Unitopia have always been among the most renowned and distinctive bands of their ilk and era.

During the interim, each member kept busy with various other projects, and according to‘s Essentials’ Mark Monforti, the method of getting the group going again was endearingly fortuitous:

“A few years ago, Steve Hackett was exploring studios and players for a show in Australia, and he contacted Timms about using the studio that he and Truey still owned. That got Sean and Truey talking about possibly working on new music together. Then, I reached out to them about doing some shows. They went exceedingly well, which sort of solidified the fact that Unitopia needed to come back.”

With Timms and Trueack reunited, the duo decided to expand Unitopia by bringing in fellow UPF maestro Steve Unruh, guitarist Dr. John Greenwood, drummer Chester Thompson (Frank ZappaWeather ReportGenesis) and bassist Alphonso Johnson (Weather ReportSantanaDavid Gilmour).

With the powerhouse duo of Timms and Greenwood on creative duties, aided and abetted by Trueack and Unruh’s songwriting skills, Unitopia have delivered something rather special. It is a truly remarkable and immersive musical experience, wonderful musical theatre at its absolute best. The songs just ebb and flow magically and the musical virtuosity on show is totally mind blowing.

In a world where the darkness seems to be overwhelming the light, it is a salve for the soul to hear an album with as much emotional depth and sheer musical beauty and bombast as this. The music is the light that fights back the darkness and gives us hope and that’s what truly great music can do and why music really can mean more to you on a daily basis.

Mark’s powerful and emotive vocals are wonderfully stirring and effective, especially on songs like Broken Heart where John Greenwood’s magical guitar playing can first be heard. The keyboards dance like little gems of sound in your mind and the ever so cultured rhythm section of Chester Thompson and Alphonso Johnson is a lesson in less is more except, of course, when more is more! The deeply thoughtful Something Invisible opens up into something strident and vibrantly dynamic where the music wends its way around your psyche like it’s almost alive. I honestly don’t think I’ve heard an album as meaningful as this in quite a long time, every note is perfectly placed and the vocals are sinuous and full of heart and soul. One of the things I really love about this album is the use of strings, Steve Unruh’s violin especially is utterly charming and full of intellect and vitality. Bittersweet is just that, the wistful guitar and piano that open the song, along with Truey’s delicate vocal are as sweet as they come, tinkling on your mind. Things get more darker and edgy in the second half of the song, very free form jazz influenced, but almost with a wry smile in the background, you just have to admire the fantastic songwriting again.

Mania is deliciously dark, there’s a sense of foreboding from the primeval opening and the crunching guitar, Mark’s vocal goes up in intensity, he really has such an expressive voice and when he sings a chorus it absolutely soars. Twelve minutes of sombre, brooding music that is brilliantly executed by all, it’s a real powerhouse of a song and an almost exhausting listen as the emotion in the track bleeds directly into you. John’s fervent guitar work is superb and, once again, Chester and Alphonso step up to the mark superbly, a highlight of the album for me. There’s refinement and elegance throughout this exquisite album and that continues with the elegant The Stroke Of Midnight, wistful and contemplative, it’s sheer grace and style are a joy to behold. Mark’s voice is as smooth as they come and the music just flows so elegantly. As a lesson in songwriting, it is nigh on perfect and the violin section will make the hairs on the back of your neck rise, it is utterly mesmerising.

If you have an album that is supposed to be progressive rock, then it needs to have an epic, or in the case of Unitopia, two epics to finish the album! First Helen gives us nineteen minutes of sheer musical brilliance with wide ranging musical styles all asked to turn up and blend in together and, boy do they ever. Symphonic rock, gypsy violin, flamenco guitar chops, heavy rock, they just keep coming. It’s a musical melting pot of sheer wonder and the band just seem to having so much fun playing it. The highlight for me is a marvellous section where Steve Unruh plays a beautiful flute alongside a stylish Elizabethan harpsichord and it just made me smile. The album closes with the widescreen wonderment of The Uncertain, a scintillating musical work that crosses the boundaries of musical theatre, classical music, progressive rock and contemporary music with abandon to deliver eighteen minutes of dazzling, intense brilliance. Mark’s vocals dip into each genre with ease as he shows off his fantastic talent and Steve delivers a violin solo that is utterly riveting and enchanting, this is six musicians working in perfect harmony, almost symbiotic and delivering the performances of their lives.

Unitopia have returned with one of the stand out releases of the year. It may be over a decade since we had any music from this uber-talented collective but, in this reinvigorated from, it would appear that they are back and even better than before. ‘Seven Chambers’ is possibly the ultimate expression of modern progressive rock and one of the highlights of this year, it just doesn’t get much better than this!

Released 25th August, 2023.

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Review – Everything But The Girl – Fuse – by Dr. Rob Fisher

“Do you sing to heal the broken hearted?” wonders Tracey Thorn with a tone of whimsical curiosity, “Or do you sing to get the party started?” Emerging from the darkness, approaching the microphone, she confesses “I like the mic, and I like the dark, I like the mood, and it lights a spark.” (Karaoke, Track 10).

It has been 24 years since Everything But The Girl were last in the spotlight. An unexpected low-key announcement on Twitter in November 2022 lit a spark with news that work on an eleventh studio album was complete and ready to be released in April of this year. The result? Fuse. A remarkable album, infused with a staggering emotional depth and poignancy that resonates with the turbulent moods and experiences of the last few years. The deft lyrical incisiveness combined with crisp, laconic sketches of modern life bestows a haunting empathy and heartfelt compassion which is profoundly moving and, at times, overwhelming.

An almost painful rawness and vulnerability form a pervading presence across all the songs on this album. The heavy dubstep beat, the tremolo bass and the lyrical references of opening track Nothing Left to Lose (Track 1) provide a seamless connection with the spirit of previous albums. Yet the despondency and resignation of the space filled by Thorn’s vocal is unmistakable: “I need a thicker skin / This pain keeps getting in.” There is also abandonment and isolation: “Tell me what to do / ‘Cause nothing works without you.” The pressing need is to forget the hollowness and lose yourself, just for a while, in the warmth of the moment: “Kiss me while the world decays / Kiss me while the music plays.”

The fear of being alone and feelings of emptiness continue with Run The Red Light (Track 2). Our hopes, our dreams of ‘making it big’ are a show bravado to cover our vulnerability. The refrain points to the (false) comfort of losing ourselves and escaping in the moment: “Run a red light / Forget the morning / This is tonight.” The chorus is recycled with both Thorn and Watt singing, the latter’s voice Auto Tuned to add a robotoic texture. The theme continues in No One Knows We’re Dancing (Track 6), a hot, noisy afternoon underground nightclub, sweat dripping from the ceiling, while ‘normal’ life continues above. Amid the isolation, we crave company, companionship, just some sense of connection with others.

The noise, the desperation, the seeming heartless indifference of the things that happen to us, threaten to consume us. Emerging from the experience of lockdown, Lost (Track 7) is a recurring arpeggio accompanying a mundane litany of losing your place, your bags, your client, your job, and your friends until, at the lowest point of all, we encounter the three times repeated “I lost my mother / I lost my mother / I lost my mother’. Loss: the feeling of being lost, is consuming. At the very place, deep down, where things matter most. Where everything is supposed to make sense.

Don’t be fooled, however. This album, the music, the songs, are most certainly not an ode to depression or a wallowing in self-pity. Far from it. Inner Space (Track 9) filters and masters Thorn’s voice to sound like the inside of her head. We are lost even to ourselves, we do not know ourselves, we do not understand who we are. “The dark is an alien place / Interior space”. But there is also defiance. In what appears to be a swipe at the menopause, she sings “And no, I don’t bleed / And yes, I am freed / But what is that worth? / Are we all about birth?”

Despite everything, the album calls on us not to give in, not to give up, not to beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make. Lost itself is a call to carry on, to keep going, to not succumb to calling yourself a loser: “I just lost it / (Call yourself a loser and they will too) / (Don’t go down that road, don’t go down that road).” When You Mess Up (Track 4) is about all the uncertainties of being ourselves as we grow older and not punishing ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made. “In a world of micro-aggressions / Little human transgressions / Forgive yourself”. Do more than that: “Have a drink, talk too loud / Be a fool in the crowd / But forgive yourself / Forgive yourself.”

Forever (Track 8) brings this home, using a ‘four-on-the-floor beat’ to punch home the message. “Do away with cruelty / Do away with pain / Do away with playing games / For short term gain.” We need to work out what is important, what matters and whom we value most. “No more games / Start thinking what you’d save from the flames / What you’ll desire / When everything’s on fire / And who’ll be around / When everything’s burned down?”

These are the things that matter. The song fades away to “Give me something I can hold on to forever.” And that, in a nutshell, is the sheer majestic strength and triumph of this album. It finds us where we are. It befriends us. It resonates with our fears, our anxieties, our troubles. It puts an arm around us and says don’t worry, life is difficult, we all struggle, and that’s ok. Everyone is going through it. You’re not the only one. Don’t be too hard on yourself; stop beating yourself up. Keep going. Focus on what matters. Oh, and don’t forget – have fun!

Musically, the crystal-clear sound stage creates cavernous spaces within which Thorn’s voice can tell the stories which brought them back to the recording studio. In the time they’ve been away, Thorn and Watt have had two children, followed solo careers, experienced lockdown all the while struggling with the passing of the years. Thorn’s voice remains incomparable, breathtaking, even better than it was. Watts’ arrangements perfectly accompany, cradle and showcase not just the inherent beauty of her voice but an instinctive feel for how less is more and how space itself is all you need for the musical magic to emerge.

Let’s finish where we started. Emerging from the darkness, approaching the microphone, Thorn asks: “Do you sing to heal the broken hearted?” A firm answer comes back: “Oh, you know I do”. She asks again: “Or do you sing to get the party started?” The definitive response comes back: “And you know I love that too.” It’s never either/or. Music can and must be both/and. Fuse is precisely how music enables both/and to become possible. It is the perfect finish to what will be, without a doubt, my album of 2023.

Video for Website
Run a Red Light:

1. Nothing Left To Lose 3:46
2. Run A Red Light 3:39
3. Caution To The Wind 4:07
4. When You Mess Up 3:48
5. Time And Time Again 2:52
6. No One Knows We’re Dancing 4:09
7. Lost 3:25
8. Forever 3:41
9. Interior Space 2:24
10. Karaoke 3:54

Tracey Thorn – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Ben Watt – Drum Programming, Programmed By [Sound Programming], Piano, Synthesizer, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Recorded By [Additional iPhone Recordings]

Artwork –, John Gilsenan
Mastered By – Miles Showell
Producer, Arranged By – Everything But The Girl
Recorded By, Mixed By – Bruno Ellingham

Label: Buzzin Fly Records
Format: CD, Vinyl, Digital
21st April 2023



Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett announces the dates for his 2024 UK tour: Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo.  The tour takes in 15 dates across the UK culminating with a visit to London’s Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 23rd October. To mark the 50th anniversary of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Hackett is including a selection of highlights from this iconic Genesis album. Tickets go on sale on Friday 29th September at 10am   

Steve Hackett’s timeless guitar-work was woven throughout Genesis’ classic 70’s catalogue of albums. In recent years he and his outstanding touring line-up of Roger King (keyboards), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Jonas Reingold (bass, backing vocals), Rob Townsend (saxophone, flutes, additional keyboards) and Craig Blundell (drums) have brought many of these albums back to the concert hall to great acclaim. Special guest, Amanda Lehmann will be joining the whole of the UK tour on guitar and vocals.  Many fans have also been asking for more tracks from The Lamb to be included. What better way to celebrate half-a-century of this remarkable album than to include a selection of Lamb Highlights alongside some of Hackett’s finest solo work and unmissable Genesis Greats.

“I’m hugely looking forward to the 2024 UK tour,” says Steve Hackett, “including ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ favourites as well as other iconic Genesis numbers along with solo gems. It’ll also be exciting to return to the wonderful Royal Albert Hall!”

Steve Hackett – Genesis Greats, Lamb Highlights & Solo tour dates 2024:

Wed 2nd October                  Aylesbury      Friars Waterside         

Thurs 3rd October                 Portsmouth   Guildhall 

Sat 5th October                     Bristol             Beacon 

Sun 6th October                    Cambridge    Corn Exchange 

Mon 7th October                   Birmingham   Symphony Hall

Wed 9th October                   Liverpool        Philharmonic

Thurs 10th October             Cardiff            St David’s Hall

Sat 12th October                   Guildford        G Live

Sun 13th October                  Stoke              Victoria Hall

Tue 15th October                  York                Barbican 

Wed 16th October               Nottingham   Royal Concert Hall 

Fri 18th October                    Glasgow        Royal Concert Hall 

Sat 19th October                  Gateshead    Glasshouse

Sun 20th October                  Manchester   Bridgewater Hall

Tue 22nd October                 Reading         Hexagon

Wed 23rd October               London          Royal Albert Hall 

Tickets go on sale on Friday 29th September at 10am.

About Steve Hackett

Steve Hackett joined Genesis at the beginning of 1971 and gained an international reputation as the guitarist in the band’s classic line-up alongside Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. Hackett’s intricate guitar work was a key element of Genesis’ albums from Nursery Cryme (1971) to Wind And Wuthering (1977) including the iconic Selling England By The Pound.

After leaving Genesis at the end of 1977, Hackett’s solo career, which now spans more than 30 albums, has demonstrated his extraordinary versatility with both electric and acoustic guitar. Hackett is renowned as both an immensely talented and innovative rock musician and a virtuoso classical guitarist and composer and this was recognised in 2010 when he was inducted into the Rock And Rock Hall Of Fame. He has also worked alongside Steve Howe of YES in the supergroup GTR.

Hackett’s compositions take influences from many genres, including jazz, classical and blues. For his studio works The Night Siren (2017) and At The Edge Of Light (2019) Hackett has also explored the influences of world music. Recent tours have seen Hackett celebrate his time with Genesis including a spectacular 2018 tour in which he realised a long-held ambition to perform the works of Genesis live with his band and an orchestra. 

The lockdown enforced by the 2020 global pandemic has proven to be a particularly creative period for Hackett. He began by releasing Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith, a live recording of 2019’s hugely successful tour celebrating that Genesis classic together with the 40th anniversary of one of his most-loved solo albums. Lockdown also gave Hackett the opportunity to write and record two new studio albums in 2021: the UK Classical Chart hit Under A Mediterranean Sky and the hit rock album Surrender of Silence.

Hackett and his band enjoyed a return to touring with Genesis Revisited – Seconds Out + More! (2021) and Genesis Revisited – Foxtrot At Fifty (2022). Subsequently, the live album Genesis Revisited – Seconds Out + More!, released in 2022, became Hackett’s most successful-ever live album reaching number 28 in the UK Album Chart and achieving highest-ever chart positions in several European countries.  He recently released the live album from the 2022 tour – Foxtrot at Fifty + Hackett Highlights – Live in Brighton.   Hackett takes the Foxtrot at Fifty Tour to the USA from 3rd October through to 18th November.